This song has been out for a couple years now, but One Direction haven’t even come close to capturing the thrill of this debut single. "What Makes You Beautiful" is bubbegum pop taken to an extreme, kind of like giving "Mmm Bop" a shot of adrenaline. Learn this pop tune and feel like you’re part of the 1D crew.
Justin Bieber is an adult. Isn’t that weird? A couple years ago he was a literally a baby singing alongside Ludacris and today his first deposition leaked. Although recent developments have made Bieber's transition into adulthood well known, “Hold Tight” is a slow-burning love song that makes it clear that Usher’s former protege is old enough to buy cigarettes.
Ever wanted to learn the song that soundtracks thousands of car commercials during Christmastime? Now’s your chance to learn one of Beethoven’s more rapturous works. This is a staple to any classical musicians’ list of songs. Not knowing how to play this song is like a guitarist never learning the opening chords to “Smoke on the Water.”
During the recording of “Part of Your World”, singer Jodi Benson requested the lights dimmed so she would feel like she was underwater, and you can definitely get the feeling from the song that someone’s swimming through the ocean. Strangely enough, the song was almost cut from the film after testing poorly with a child audience, but the songwriters insisted on keeping it and for good reason: the song ultimately became a Disney music staple and even received an applause at one of the early public screenings.
Worse than attempting the cinnamon or saltine challenge, try listening to “My Girl” and not grinning when Temptations lead vocalist David Ruffin sings “I’ve got sunshine/on a cloudy day.” This song is like the audio equivalent of an Instagram filter, able to instantly brighten your day (with the side-effect of making you feel stuck in the opening sequence of a 1960s period piece about coming of age). If there’s any reason to learn "My Girl", it's for your own personal health. You'll start feeling better as soon as you start playing those wonderful opening notes. In fact, you're looking even better just thinking about it. Go on, play it now.
Tonight seems like the perfect night to dress up like hipsters and learn the instant classic that launched a thousand birthday statuses on Facebook. Taylor Swift’s ode to her early twenties is the funnest song on Red, and while that might not be saying much since most of it is pretty sad, this song is totally a good time.
We could say something about how Nirvana shook pop music and brought alternative rock onto the charts, but that’s probably been hammered into your head since you were conscious that MTV existed. Instead, we’ll just reiterate how great this song is, Kurt Cobain’s guitar work is distinct and catchy and that chorus is beyond melodic even though it tries to make you think it just got out of bed and left it’s homework at home. Great songs like this only arise from hard work.
"Wake Me Up" might be the most seamless mix of EDM and folk music ever, a surprising attempt by an EDM producer to create a hybrid of the two genres after the catastrophic “Cotton Eyed Joe” disaster back in 1994. Not for the easily disoriented, you’ll find yourself halfway between a barnyard wearing overalls and some nightclub at the Bellagio for a weekend electronic music festival. Nevertheless, this is one of Avicii’s strongest pop songs since “Levels” and an essential tune for anyone suffering an identity crisis between cowgirl and club kid.
Ariana Grande, otherwise known as the prodigy of Mariah Carey, released her follow-up to “The Way” and successfully recaptured the great throwback vibes from that debut single. Playing this song will make you feel like you opened a door to 2001 and new episodes of All That premier every Saturday night. It’s great summertime pop, so learn it now and be ready to impress your friends during those summer barbeques.
"Surely I've written better things," Beethoven said of his Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Opus 27, No. 2. know best as his "Moonlight Sontata," and yet, this piece continues to be one that musicians return to over and over again. Originally composed for Beethoven's pupil, the countess Giulietta Guicciardi, the sonata perhaps captures some of the emotion between the two. Play this classic alone or for that special someone on Chromatik.
You might not traditionally associate Ed Sheeran's slow acoustics and soulful crooning with the epic sweeping landscapes of Middle Earth, but somehow the pairing just feels right. Director Peter Jackson asked Sheeran to write a song for the newest installation of The Hobbit series -- "The Desolation of Smaug," and allegedly, Sheeran watched the film and wrote most of this song on that very same day. So find your Hobbit-like courage, dear musicians, and share your renditions of "I See Fire" on Chromatik.
Elton John belted out notes so high on this song that he ended up having to edit the song to a lower key after a vocal surgery in 1987. Written about his anxiety in his relationship with then fiancee Linda Woodrow, you can hear John’s anguish and frustration in his songwriting and lyrics. Despite its intimate lyrics, the song is one of John’s favorite to sing live, which is obvious from it’s textured harmonies and challenging high notes.
In 2013, Rihanna rocked the charts with her haunting ballad "Stay", but this year the artists begging for you to "Stay" is a group of sensitive country gentlemen that took a cue in guitar solos from Slash. Unlike the vocal performance Rihanna delivers in her single, you won't feel like these boys dropped their hearts onto your lap, but it sure makes a great song to listen to while eating pulled pork. Or Google image searching pictures of horses. Just don't expect you'll woo any potential lovers with this song.
This Tune of the Day will bring you sputtering back to 1976 in a black Pontiac TransAm. Here’s your chance to learn one of the most iconic guitar riffs ever, from a song so crusty and distinctly 70s that you might just grow a handlebar mustache while playing it. Helpful tips to mastering this classic track: have at least one skull in your practice space, play the record backwards, and apply cowbell liberally.
After keeping quiet for a couple years, Daft Punk made a loud comeback and conquered 2013. “Get Lucky” creates authentic production of the 70s yacht rock and disco previous Daft Punk releases idolized and sampled. Daft Punk’s experiment at creating music with a live band was a surprising success, creating such a precise homage that it even features 70s funky guitar god Nile Rodgers producing a guitar riff that you’ll be lucky to ever get out of your head.
Just because this standout hit from Lady Gaga's newest album sacrifices the more accessible 80s synthpop from Born this Way for a brasher industrial grittiness doesn't mean Lady Gaga lost her pop green thumb. Gone with her attempts at making a politically-charged statement, Lady Gaga focuses on bringing in the melodies and flooding the dance floor with sweat on this newest track. Learn to play "Applause" this week and make everyone at your next recital groove so hard, you'd think they were playing Dance Dance Revolution.
What a launch day.
Apple has featured Chromatik as a Best New App, with category features in music and education. We could not ask for a better start.
Chromatik featured as #4 best new app, #1 music, and #2 education!
Making music is easier now than ever.
Take out your phone. You will find an app to record, mix sound samples, or auto-tune your rap. Making music is not limited to the recording studio or classroom anymore. It happens all around us, every day. We are all musicians, in our own way.
But what if you want to play with tunes atop the Billboard charts? Or learn your favorite Katy Perry song? Or jam on a Stevie Wonder classic?
The new Chromatik apps cycle around a rotating catalog, so you can play a new, free tune every day. With music for every major instrument and genre, you can practice charts, record practice sessions, and show off by sharing your performances.
Here’s the quick rundown…
TUNE OF THE DAY:
Access a new Tune of the Day, every day. As part of our rotating catalog, the sheet music is yours to play for 7 days. Recent Tune of the Day titles include pop hits such as Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Lorde’s “Royals,” alongside classics like “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder.
PLAY THE TUNES:
Each tune features the best sheet music, tablature, videos, and lyrics for over 20 instruments. Learn the chart with a reference track that automagically turns pages for you. Mark up your score with Chromatik’s annotation tools on iPad. And share what you’re practicing with friends!
Record your own video or audio sessions right from Chromatik. Save the full recordings to track your progress. Or share a 15 second highlight with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.
From Chromatik’s early days, we looked to reshape the way musicians learn, practice, and perform.
So we developed “Chromatik for Schools and Groups.” Bands, orchestras, choirs, religious organizations, professionals and more all play music powered by Chromatik daily. Utilitarian and powerful. It fits the needs of music groups nicely.
Heck, even folks like American Idol, Bruno Mars, and more of your favorite musicians love Chromatik for Groups. Pretty great.
But we wanted to create more magic around your personal jams. Learning a new tune on guitar. Belting along with Adele on the piano. Nailing the Macklemore saxophone riff. Having fun, playing more music.
Sure, there are video sites available. Some guitar tablature applications. And Spotify or Beats Music to listen to the tracks.
But there isn’t a de facto platform you can play, record, and share your favorite tunes. There isn’t a community of like-minded musicians who collaborate around those experiences.
Chromatik hopes to be all that and more.
We think you will love this new version. The Chromatik team is ridiculously proud of it.
Go download the new app and tell us what you think! We would love to hear from you. Any ideas or questions are always welcome.
Life is short. Play more music.
What do Britney Spears, Sid Vicious, and an Aretha Franklin imposter all have in common? They all share a special place in February music history, duh. A lot can happen in thirty-one days, so we’re breaking down the greatest hits for you.
Although working as a music teacher is certainly rewarding, it's a career that scarcely receives the recognition it deserves. Occasionally, a considerate director realizes the importance that music teachers have in the lives of young students and creates a film that explores their stories. The few movies featuring music teachers that exist have made huge impacts on our perception of music in education, leading to foundations and programs dedicated to preserving music's role in academics. The teachers in these films come from different backgrounds and perspectives, but all their approaches combine hard work and passion to drive their students. Here are six game-changing movies featuring music teachers:
1. Mr. Holland's Opus
Glenn Holland, played by Richard Dreyfuss, is a professional musician that takes to the chalkboard in order to earn some extra money and spend more time with his wife. The obstacles Holland faces throughout the movie resonated with many challenges that many music teachers encounter: he struggles to find adequate ways to engage his students with classical music, worries about budget cuts, and searches for a balance between his home life and his active role as band director at the school. The film had such an impact on its crew that the film's composer, Michael Karmen founded the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation a year later as a commitment to the future of music education.
Music of the Heart
Based off the life story of Roberta Guaspari, a music teacher in Harlem, Music of the Heart tells the compelling story of a substitute violin teacher that develops a music education program in her underfunded school district. The film was a huge success and Meryl Streep received huge acclaim for her performance as Guaspari, even receiving Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for her work. More importantly, the film had given widespread notoriety to the real Guaspari, who's Opus 118 program still exists today.
School of Rock
School of Rock blessed us with the most eccentric teacher on this list, Dewey Finn. Although Finn only enters the education world to pay off his rent debt to his roommate Ned, he quickly develops a deep bond teaching his students how to play and--more importantly--how to rock. The songs they create as a class were both catchy and well-written, a feat that only a great music teacher would have the capability to orchestrate (even if they'd rather couch surf on their best friend's couch than teach students).
Sound of Music
The movie that birthed a music teacher icon. Let's be real, when you stepped into your first classroom you totally dreamed of rocking Julie Andrews' swag and leading your students to find joy in playing music (as if it were so simple). Maria Rainer, a nun postulate, heads off to work as a governess to widower Georg von Trapp's seven children and ultimately transforms her role as governess into a music teacher role. Her enthusiasm for the arts was inspiring and infectious, making the Von Trapp's concert performance seem like her true calling.
Sister Mary Clarence
Another story of both an unlikely music teacher AND a member of the fold, Sister Act tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, a lounge singer in witness protection that takes refuge in a San Francisco convent. After getting acquainted with the convent, Deloris (now named Sister Mary) takes over as a choir director and infuses the traditional choir with livelier gospel and rock influences. Like Dewey Finn, Sister Mary challenged the traditional ideas of music education to make studying music lively and interesting to her younger students. Sister Act had a lasting impact on young choir singers, and almost 15 years later a musical adaptation of the film was created by Peter Scheider.
Although sci-fi movies aren't necessarily associated with music, directors always seem to sneak vibrant, strange musicians into the plots of their films. Some of the weirdest, most out-there scenes in sci-fi movies happen at a dive bar where a misfit alien band is playing. Throughout the past month, we've discussed different aspects of music and technology working together so we thought we'd feature some great science fictional musicians from other worlds, realities, or time periods and appreciate their visions of music in the future.
These four blue-skinned rock stars from some futuristic distant planet act as the centerpiece of a film adaptation to Daft Punk's massive classic, Discovery. Interstella 5555, which the movie is named after, get kidnapped by a record executive that tries to pass off the band as humans to market their distinct brand of house to a terrestrial audience. The alien quartet perfectly complimented Daft Punk's sound at the time, both futuristic and funky, and made for a great visual component to a blockbuster album.
Max Rebo Band
Making their first appearance in the Star Wars universe in Episode VI, the Max Rebo Band turned into galaxy rockstars as Jabba the Hut's in-house musicians. A diverse trio featuring keyboardist Max Rebo, Kitonak woodwind player Droopy McCool, and singer Sy Snootles, the band was a blobby and goofy addition to the science fiction franchise and made themselves a lovable and recurring force in the Star Wars canon. In subsequent short stories and comics, the group's story became more elaborate and complicated (they even have a thorough entry in the Star Wars wiki page).
Created in the eyes of ice styling gel, Billy Idol, and a boyband vision of the future, Proto Zoa made Zenon Kar's heart swoon with his catchy pop song, "Zoom Zoom Zoom". Proto Zoa defined cool: with frosted spikes and silver outerwear, he seemed both ahead of his time and totally in-sync (couldn't resist) with the 2001 boy band look. Trust us, you will have that hook stuck in your head forever.
Jerrica Benton, the protagonist in this 80s children's TV show, stumbles upon a holographic guiding light that introduces her to a computer program called Synergy that aims to be "the ultimate audio-video entertainment synthesizer". The program allows Jerrica to turn into Jem, a musician with pink hair and rockin' synths. Probably one of the only instances on this where the science fictional musicians preceded the science fiction plot line in this list, Jem focused on producing the bangers and each episode included three music videos.
Scott Pilgrim's three-piece band, named as a reference to Super Mario and the Flipper song, "Sex Bomb", played a recurring role through the comic book series as Pilgrim's . The band's music consisted of comically absurd lyrics and were slightly terrible, they only had two real fans.
This intense opera singer (and second blue musician on this list) belted some serious opera in The Fifth Element. While singer plays a minor, yet important role in the film's plot, her scene at the opera house is what will stay with you.
Not sure if "You All Everybody" even played in it's entirety on Lost, but the hit launched Charlie Pace's career before a period of substance abuse and getting shipwrecked on a supernatural island. The frequent allusions to the song throughout the series by island mates singing the chorus made it into unstoppable ear worm. Unfortunately, the band never managed to top their first hit and their second album, Oil Change, didn't meet the same success.